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(Video) Quantum Computing Is Now A Reality

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Quantum Computing – What’s That?

So what’s the difference between a quantum computer chip and the computer chips we use today?

Well, let’s start by saying that current silicon chips have billions of tiny transistors that are either on or off.  These work great, and each time we turn around, the computing power contained in a single chip seems to double, but takes less than half the chip space as its predecessor.

In fact, it wasn’t too long ago we realized more space on a computer chip was being taken up by the “wires” than the transistors themselves.  That generated studies on multi-valued flip-flops (small memory devices), that could dramatically increase a chip’s computing power with a lot less “wire” space needed.  Surprisingly, this technology was even used to make toy dolls that could speak several years back.

We started with a room full of vacuum tubes to do Much less, so billions of transistors in the size of your mobile device isn’t too bad.  But no matter how you slice it, it appears we’re reaching a limit as to how small we can make transistors, or complete chips using this method.

Enter quantum bits.  Instead of passing a small current through a transistor (or not) to indicate it is on or off, quantum bits are 1 … yup one electron in size. That’s the difference!

… and the fascinating subject of this video, plus the article that follows it.  Well worth the time on this one for sure! …

 

 

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Australian engineers just built a quantum logic gate in silicon for the first time

We now have all the building blocks for a quantum computer.

Fiona MacDonald   6 Oct 2015

For decades, researchers have been trying to build a computer that harnesses the enormous potential of quantum mechanics. Now engineers from the University of New South Wales (UNSW) in Australia have overcome the final hurdle, by creating a quantum logic gate in silicon – the same material that today’s computer chips are made from.

The newly developed device allows two quantum bits – or qubits – to communicate and perform calculations together, which is a crucial requirement for quantum computers. Even better, the researchers have also worked out how to scale the technology up to millions of qubits, which means they now have the ability to build the world’s first quantum processor chip and, eventually, the first silicon-based quantum computer.

…… Scientists are getting pretty good at controlling these qubits, but what they’ve struggled with is getting them to communicate with each other and perform operations. This is essential for forming what’s known as a logic gate – a building block of all digital circuits, which takes two input values and provides a new output based on programmed logic.

Quantum logic gates have been built in the past, but they’ve all used exotic materials, which isn’t compatible with today’s silicon-based computer infrastructure. A silicon quantum logic gate was the last physical building block remaining to be built in order to create a silicon-based quantum computer.

…… The team overcame this by effectively copying the set-up of traditional chips. In that set-up, binary bits are defined by tiny semiconductor devices known as transistors. About 1 billion of these transistors has been packed onto each silicon chip in your smartphone or computer.

Quantum bits, on the other hand, are defined by the spin of a single electron. But by reconfiguring traditional transistors to only be associated with one electron, Dzurak and his team were able to have them define qubits instead.

…… The researchers have already patented a design “for a full-scale quantum computer chip that would allow for millions of our qubits, all doing the types of calculations that we’ve just experimentally demonstrated,” Dzurak explains, and they believe they could achieve a simple version within five years.

Please visit Science Alert for the full article

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